tag : bright yellow-green apples: ashes to…

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Thursday, February 10, 2005

ashes to…

figure 7.2. do well to remember

Ask me why I chose this image and you'll get a tirade about how I spent half an hour looking for a picture of some ash. Be warned! Now, onto things...

I've got a lot of respect for the Ikon community, from what I've encountered of them so far at the Greenbelt festival. Last year a guy from them came and did a talk on knowing & unknowing, mystery & explicit faith that was probably the highlight of the weekend. And the year before they organised a worship gathering (let's not be all hip alt worship in calling it an event!) that proved to be valuable. The gist of it revolved around us each selecting an image with meaning, that carried personal resonance of memories, that communicated something of our selves. What we are and what we wish to be, what we value and what we regret. What we saw of the divine. We then wrote on it and invested it with specific values, before taking it outside and putting it on a fire. These tokens were burnt.

We each received a part of the resulting ashes at the end, and I still have mine sat in my shrine. It carries a lot of resonance, in terms of repentance and memory, not taking anything about life in the light of the divine for granted or as given. Dreams may be consumed by flames, leading to the space for new dreams. There's something of what it means to come to terms with the past, to carry what I regret and need grace over as I look forward in hope, and find resolution and liberation through living. We do, after all, receive the mark of the cross on us today as a sign of the restoration - there's summit about Ash Wednesday in there, maybe this fragment of liturgy from the service will help:

the consecration of the ashes

we remember the words of your holy prophets.

leader: the people who walked in darkness
people: have seen a great light
leader: on those who lived in a land dark as death
people: a light has dawned
leader: you have turned our laments into dancing
people: you have stripped off our sackcloth and clothed us with joy
leader: you have not left us in the ashes
people: but have lifted us to a place of esteem


Blogger ash said...

this is interesting indeed! :o) would you be drastically heart broken if i said we did a similar thing at an Alpha Holy Spirit day?
Well yours sounds more profound. we just burnt up our sins and cast them into the wind to symbolise how they had no power over us anymore.

I like the idea of what you did, but i don't want to burn my dreams. They mean too much too me...

11:03 PM  
Blogger mary said...

i was talking to my youthy leader yesterday and we were discussing whether true freedom was giving up your dreams along with yourself or still hanging on to the things that made you, well, you. i find it hard to distinguish between shellfish stuff i want to do and stuff i think i'm supposed to do, which is part of my porpoise. anyway, i like the end bit "the people who walked in darkness...is that the nunc dimmitus or something? has a lapsed anglican i seem to know it, but i'm not sure from whereabouts in the service. "the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, unto them that walked in ? a light has shone. you have made their ? , you have made their joy increase..."

8:31 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

I wanted to use fairly provocative language of dreams here, just to get thinking - I don’t have a specific thrust or point in doing so as yet. Thanks for your comments, they're interesting sparks of thought. I might come back to this at some point...

1:42 AM  

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